The iron pillar of Delhi is a structure 23 feet 8 inches (7.2 metres) high with 16 inches (40.64 cm) diameter that was constructed by Chandragupta II (reigned c. 375–415 CE), and now stands in the Qutb complex at Mehrauli in Delhi, India. It is famous for the rust-resistant composition of the metals used in its construction. The pillar weighs over three tonnes (6,614 lb) and is thought to have been erected elsewhere, perhaps outside the Udayagiri Caves, and moved to its present location by Anangpal Tomar in 11th century.
The height of the pillar, from the top to the bottom of its base, is 7.21 m (23 ft 8 in), 1.12 m (3 ft 8 in) of which is below ground. Its bell pattern capital is 306 mm (12 in). It is estimated to weigh more than three tonnes (6,614 lb). The pillar has attracted the attention of archaeologists and materials scientists because of its high resistance to corrosion and has been called a "testimony to the high level of skill achieved by the ancient Indian iron smiths in the extraction and processing of iron". The corrosion resistance results from an even layer of crystalline iron(III) hydrogen phosphate hydrate forming on the high-phosphorus-content iron, which serves to protect it from the effects of the Delhi climate.
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Bhajan Singh Rai | Jun 21, 2018
The Alai Minar is an incomplete monument that lies within the Qutb complex in South Delhi. Sultan Ala-ud-Din Khalji was an over ambitious Sultan of the Khilji dynasty and won many wars and battles. After a win from one of his Deccan campaigns, the Sultan dreamt of constructing a huge Tower or Minar to commemorate his victory. He wanted a structure that would double the height of Qutub Minar in order to be remembered as the only Sultan who dared to create such a monumental masterpiece that was grander and more spectacular than the Qutub Minar of Qutb-ud-din Aibak of the Slave dynasty that ruled before him. Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji also executed the plan and increased the size of the enclosures of the Quwwat-Ul-Islam Masjid by four times its original size to provide a ceremonial entrance gateway on either sides of the mosque. He wanted the Alai Minar to match up with the size of the increased height of the mosque and also wanted a second tower of victory under his name and hence the Alai Minar began to take its shape. The construction was completed up till the first storey and at a height of 24.5 metres but unfortunately, the construction was abandoned after the death of Sultan Ala-ud-din Khalji in 1316 AD and the subsequent successors could not continue the further construction as they were defeated and the Delhi Sultanate was taken over by the Tughlaq dynasty. During the reign of the Khilji dynasty, a renowned Sufi poet named Amir Khusro makes a mention in one of his works named 'Tareekh-i-Alai' of the Sultan's intentions to increase the size of the mosque and the plan to construct the Alai Minar. Amir Khusro was born in 1253 AD in Patiali in Northern India to Amir Sayf-ud-din Mahmud who was a Turkic Officer. He was a renowned scholar, musician, poet and a Sufi mystic who wrote numerous poetries in the Persian and Hindavi. He was also known as the 'Father of Qawwali' and introduced Arabic and Persian elements in his Hindu Classical music. He invented the use of Tabla, Khayal and Taraana styles in his music. If you historically look back at the Khilji dynasty, it attributes to the Turkic origin. The first three Khalji Sultans belonged to the Khalji tribe of Turkic origin and were known for their ferocity, mercilessness and constant greed to penetrate through all the parts of India and thus rule over it. Their courts were filled with Ministers, Viziers, Writers, Poets, Scholars etc of different backgrounds including Persian, Arabic, Indian, Turkic and other origins. Even the Iranian slaves and Turks that came with the Sufis, Physicians and Scientists of noble families greatly influenced this tribe. Khalji means 'Swordsmen' in the Turkic language, 'Long Hand' in Ottoman-Turkic language and 'Thief' in the Pashto language. They mainly originated from central Asian continents and came along with the Turks and Iranian Slaves who later came into power after Ala-ud-din Khalji aka Ali Gurshap took over the Delhi sultanate reign after he married the reigning Sultan's daughter and finally took over the Throne and ruled ferociously for 20 whole years. The Alai Minar depicts that very high ambition, pompous attitude and ferocity of Ala-ud-din Khilji who wanted to compete by building a structure higher than the Qutub Minar but today, is an incomplete mammoth of a foundation that cannot even be compared with the massive Qutub Minar beside it. The Alai Minar in fact looks like a piece of undulating rubble core that was definitely intended not to look like it does now but in fact would have been ornamentally decorated and covered with stone carvings, intricate design and art work as Ala-ud-din had planned. Today, it sits silently amidst the other elaborate and stunning structures within its proximity in this Complex. This incomplete Alai Minar structure today can only mark and set as a perfect example for all the people who can literally see what over ambition can do to you.
Bronel Menezes | Jun 24, 2018
Alai Minar is located in Qutb Complex near to the Qutb Minar. Alauddin Khalji started building the Alai Minar, after he had doubled the size of Quwwat ul-Islam mosque. He conceived this tower to be two times higher than Qutb Minar in proportion with the enlarged mosque. The construction was however abandoned, just after the completion of the 24.5-metre-high (80 ft) first-story core; soon after death of Alauddin in 1316, and never taken up by his successors of Khalji dynasty. The first storey of the Alai Minar, a giant rubble masonry core, still stands today, which was evidently intended to be covered with dressed stone later on. Noted Sufi poet and saint of his times, Amir Khusro in his work, Tarikh-i-Alai, mentions Ala-ud-din's intentions to extend the mosque and also constructing another minar.
Amiya Kar | May 20, 2018
Short note on Alai Minar !! This is a great place actually !!! Soon after ta massive hit of Padmaavat..... it's attracting huge bunches of visitors. This is one of the monument by a notorious yet great ruler of Hindustan... Alauddin Khilji....!!! He ordered this men to build a minar ( tower) which would be two times higher than Qutub Minar and portray his dominance....but his men we're not at all good in planning and taking architectural decisions as they we're in fighting wars !!! They just went on gathering rocks to build it.....soon lacking of coordination....and sudden death of Sikandar-i-saani...made the process of construction come to a halt.....and unluckily his successors too didn't show any effort to restart building !!!! But according to modern engineers...if it would have been built it would not even complete one time the Qutub Minar as it would fall off before hand 'cause it has no foundation !!! That's all the folks I knew about Alai Minar....Hope you all got a breif description about Alai Minar...and find this useful !! Happy to help.....
Shrikant Rajput | May 19, 2018
Alauddin Khalji started building the Alai Minar, after he had doubled the size of Quwwat ul-Islam mosque. He conceived this tower to be two times higher than Qutb Minar in proportion with the enlarged mosque. The construction was however abandoned, just after the completion of the 24.5-metre-high (80 ft) first-story core; soon after death of Alauddin in 1316, and never taken up by his successors of Khalji dynasty
Kishore Dhiman | Apr 26, 2018
The Alai Minar is an unfinished tower in the Qutub Complex, construction of which was started by Alauddin Khilji. After Khilji had doubled the size of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque he decided to constructed a tower which would be twice the height of the Qutub Minar. Construction of the Alai Minar came to a halt in 1316 following the death of Alauddin Khilji. Today the Alai Minar, a massive red rubble structure stands at a height of 2.5 meters.
Dr Karthik Venegalla | Jul 20, 2018
Located in the premises of the Qutb Complex this is an unfinished Minar which was started by a ruler and he planned to build it with a height that is twice of the Qutb Minar but the construction never competed. This is just about 24 meters in height.
chaitany agrawal | Jul 28, 2018
Near the famous Qutub Minar of Delhi, is a circular monument that many visitors would easily miss. Still around twenty seven meter high, the Alai Minar, or what remains of it, has an interesting story. It was a vanity project of one of the most aggressive, ambitious and controversial of the Delhi A man who called himself the Sikander-i-Sani or the ‘Second Alexander’, Khilji (1296-1316 CE) was proud of his achievements and adamant to outdo Qutubuddin Aibak’s great Qutub Minar, which was the tallest and most famous structure of its kind, in the Indian Subcontinent. He planned to make his minar, double the size of the Qutub! The Alai minar was to be a mark of his great glory and Alauddin Khilji had reason to celebrate. His armies had been victorious across India and within few years of his reign, he had conquered the kingdoms of Rajasthan - Chittor, Ranthambore, Jalore, as well as other regions of Gujarat and Malwa. The Khilji armies were also the first to head south. The most famous of its campaigns was the one led by his general, Malik Kafur, in 1308 CE to South India, where the Khilji forces conquered the Yadava, Hoysala , Kakatiya and Pandya kingdoms, bringing in immense wealth. As wealth poured in, Khilji decided to commemorate his victories with a massive monument. He ordered that the enclosure of the main mosque called Quwat-ul-Islam, in the Qutub Minar Complex be increased four times in size and a new minar, twice the size of the Qutub minar be built.
BradJill Travels | Jul 20, 2018
When visiting Qutb Minar, there are several other interesting attractions that you can see within the Qutb Complex, including the Alai Darwaza - the main gateway into the complex built between 1296 and 1316AD, making it one of the very oldest remaining ancient gateways to remain standing in Delhi. Alai Darwaza is a domed gateway, providing entrance into the southern side of the Quwwat-ul-Islam Mosque, which is now in ruins. The gateway building was constructed with red sandstone, inlaid with white marble and elaborately decorated with carving and inscriptions. The building is noted for the splendid use of symmetry in its design. Interestingly, it seems Alai Darwaza was the first of four large gates that Alla-Ud-Din Khilji intended to make for the city. Unfortunately, he died after its construction and before beginning work on the other three gates. Future rulers must not have shared his vision for the city as the remaining three gateways were never built, leaving Alai Darwaza on its own. Overall, Alai Darwaza is a nice building, worthy of spending some time looking around. Its one of several interesting attractions at the Qutb Minar Complex along with the mosque, Imam Zamin's Tomb, the minaret - Alai Minar and the fascinating Qutab Minar structure.
nagesh kamble | Aug 8, 2018
This is incomplete structure of Alai Minar and the first step of it. The minar was built by alauddin khilji in the intention of to make it bigger than Qutub Minar.
Prof. Arun C. Mehta | Jul 16, 2018
If you had visited Delhi and moved around all Tourist Spots but not visited Qutub Minar Complex located in Mehrauli, your visit to Delhi will always remain incomplete. One must visit well maintained beautiful Campus with lot of monuments & history. Everything that is required for tourists (Ticket Counter, Water, Toilets & spacious parking) is made available here in a decent way. Near entrance, Wash Room and Drinking Water ATM is available. One can even keep Luggage in Clock Room at nominal fee. For Indians, entry ticket can be bought at Rs.30 per person which comes with a Token which is required at the time of exit (fine Rs. 100/- if lost). Perhaps, this place is the only place in Delhi where parking for Car is still only Rs.10/- irrespective of hours and for Two Wheelers, it is Rs. 5/- only. Do not worry for parking, there is enough space here. Come in Car. Lot of security staff can be seen managing parking. Lot of Tourists, mostly foreigners can be seen moving around. Photo Lovers may like to visit during evening when Golden Light, Good for photography is available. Do visit and enjoy. Ensure visiting following monuments within the Qutub Complex: • Qutub Minar • Allaudin’s Tomb & Madrasa • Allauddin Khilji Tomb • Azan Tower • Alai Minar • Booking Office & Ticket Counter • Imam Zamin’s Tomb • Iron Pillar • Mugual Park • Mughal Mosque • Quwwatual Islam Masjid • Sanderson’s Sundial • Swachh Public Toilet • Tomb of Iltutmish Situated near the Qutub Minar, Alai Minar was planned to to be double the size of Qutub Minar but couldn't be completed by Khilji. Entire experience within the Qutub Complex was awesome & full of joy and satisfaction. Wished a small restaurant with provision for Tea & Snack was there. Keep enough water and food stuff, if you are visiting with family and kids. Keep a Cap & Goggles with you. If possible, avoid going during weekend, must be very crowded. One needs at least half day to fully justify visit to Historical Qutub Minar. Do not forget to visit monuments nearby; entire Mehrauli Area is full of monuments & has very rich heritage.
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